'If I didn't mean it, I wouldn't have said it' – Harper stands by Trout comments
Bryce Harper doubled down on his Mike Trout recruiting comments after talking up his attempts to lure the Los Angeles Angels star to the Philadelphia Phillies.
On Tuesday, Phillies recruit Harper said, "If you don't think I'm gonna call Mike Trout to come to Philly in 2020, you're crazy".
But that comment led to the Angels contacting the MLB, since Harper's remarks could constitute as tampering.
Harper – who signed a 13-year, $330m deal with the Phillies last week – reiterated on Wednesday that he meant what he said while discussing Trout.
"They talked to me a little bit. Not MLB or anything like that, but I guess when that times comes and guys are free agents and we'll see what happens. But I don't know," Harper said Wednesday.
Trout later commented on Harper's remarks, though he did not add much more to the conversation.
"Obviously I saw it," Trout told reporters. "He's excited. He's excited about his team. I have no control over what he says."
With Harper moving to Philadelphia from the Washington Nationals, speculation immediately started around the possibility of Trout joining the six-time All-Star at the Phillies.
Trout's Angels contract expires in 2020. Harper also alluded to the possibility of the two playing together during his introductory press conference.
"There is a rule against tampering for a reason," Angels manager Brad Ausmus told reporters, per The Orange County Register. "There has been for a long time. I don't know if it's a bigger deal or not [now]. It's reported more because of social media, but I don't know that it's any bigger of a deal. It's always been a big deal."